ESOMAR 28 QUESTIONS
TO HELP BUYERS
OF ONLINE SAMPLES
1. What experience does your company have in providing online
samples for market research?
IMAS International has created it’s first online research panel, IMAS OnLine
(www.imasonline.pl), in Poland in 2005. Since then we have been offering
studies on Internet users samples. We provide services to Polish researchers as
well as international research agencies who are looking for reliable respondent
Nowadays, there are three data bases of our own:
IMAS OnLine – general panel, 58,500 active members,
Ankiety Pro Bono – founded in 2016, for people, who share their incentives
with NGO’s – 6,500 active members,
IMAS Agri – founded in 2017, for farmers and people involved in land cultivation
and food production, 600 active members.
(all numbers as of January 2019)
Between 2005 and 2019 we carried out over 1 million online interviews.
COMPANY PROFILE SAMPLE SOURCES AND RECRUITMENT
2. Please describe and explain the type(s) of online sample sources
from which you get respondents. Are these databases? Actively
managed research panels? Direct marketing lists? Social networks?
Web intercept (also known as river) samples?
Our company uses a proprietary research panel, which is managed by IMAS
Research Department through a dedicated web application. The panelists are
recruited from many sources to ensure a possibly diverse representation of the
Internet users in Poland. One of the most important ways of recruiting new
panelists is mailing sent out by our partners to their users, but also graphic and
text banners placed on popular websites, adverts on search engines pages and
similar. We use social media ads, recommendations, and so on. We also take the
opportunity and invite our face-to-face or CATI respondents to join in.
If the purpose of the survey requires so, we pursue research among visitors of
specific websites or individuals registered in social networks. Our clients are
provided with detailed information on the advantages and disadvantages of
each type of source and we collectively make decisions on the selections of the
3. If you provide samples from more than one source: How are the
different sample sources blended together to ensure validity? How
can this be replicated over time to provide reliability? How do you
deal with the possibility of duplication of respondents across
In most cases we only use our own research panel and discourage our clients to
combine samples from different sources. Our database is constantly checked
against duplicates and any suspected multi-registration is immediately
Our internal research shows that about 50% of the participants of IMAS Panel is
registered in other panels as well. There is a high possibility of repeating an
interview with the same person if the sample is purchased in multiple panels.
Therefore, we only complement our sample with external sources in exceptional
cases, and only after consultation with our client. In such cases, we protect our
sample against duplication by checking cookies and IP addresses.
5. How do you source groups that may be hard to reach on the
While recruiting samples that are difficult to obtain, we look for them primarily
within our panel. If we believe that this might not be effective, we suggest other
methods of obtaining respondents, such as telephone recruitment from our
CATI studio. We also use advertising campaigns on specialized websites (eg for
the elderly, people suffering from certain diseases etc.).
4. Are your sample source(s) used solely for market research? If not,
what other purposes are they used for?
The panel is used solely for the purpose of conducting market research.
6. If, on a particular project, you need to supplement your sample(s)
with sample(s) from other providers, how do you select those
partners? Is it your policy to notify a client in advance when using a
third party provider?
IMAS uses primarily its own respondents database and we only complement our
sample with external sources in exceptional situations.
However, if it is necessary to combine samples with other panel, we cooperate
exclusively with companies of proven reputation, that also meet ESOMAR and
ISO standards or similar. In such cases our client is always informed about the
source the sample comes from.
7. What steps do you take to achieve a representative sample of the
Every data base is being prepared based on a random selection from the panel
members. The representative sample is built according to the demographic
distribution of several important features in the target population. In this way,
the assumed quotas are fulfilled evenly. Invitations are sent automatically in
batches, until the requested number of interviews is achieved.
The database can be prepared considering the respondents’ activity in previous
surveys. Respondents can be added or removed from the database depending
on how often they are sent invitations, how often they complete the surveys,
what topics they answered recently, how many points they earned so far, etc.
12. What profiling data is held on respondents? How is it done? How
does this differ across sample sources? How is it kept up-to-date? If
no relevant profiling data is held, how are low incidence projects
During the registration, we only get the minimum information about our
panelists: e-mail address, birth date, gender, place of residence and region.
Additional data are then gathered during a detailed registration survey asking
for information like respondent’s professional status, used products, use of
media, buying behavior, etc. The data are updated and verified during regular
8. Do you employ a survey router?
No. Our respondents are invited each time via email to take part in one
specifically described survey.
SAMPLING AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
9 - 11. If you use a router...
We do not employ a survey router.
13. Please describe your survey invitation process. What is the
proposition that people are offered to take part in individual
surveys? What information about the project itself is given in the
process? Apart from direct invitations to specific surveys (or to a
router), what other means of invitation to surveys are respondents
exposed to? You should note that not all invitations to participate
take the form of emails.
If a person has been chosen for the study, s/he is being sent an e-mail invitation
to take part. The invitation message describes briefly the purpose of the study,
expected timing, the date when the survey is due and other important
information (i.e. why they have been sent the invitation, how to withdraw, how
to proceed in case of problems).
14. Please describe the incentives that respondents are offered for
taking part in your surveys. How does this differ by sample source, by
interview length, by respondent characteristics?
IMAS panelists collect points for completing the surveys. Number of points to be
rewarded depends on the length of the survey, its level of complexity and the
target sample. In every project, participants collect points for completing the
16. Do you measure respondent satisfaction? Is this information
made available to clients?
IMAS asks all respondents to rate their satisfaction at the end of each survey
carried out on our online system. Furthermore, we check the satisfaction of all
our panelists on a regular basis (quarterly). Satisfaction survey results are
available to our clients upon request.
15. What information about a project do you need in order to give an
accurate estimate of feasibility using your own resources?
In order to determine our ability to provide an adequate sample, we need the
17. What information do you provide to debrief your client after the
project has finished?
At the end of the survey, the client may be provided with a fieldwork report
containing detailed information according to the client’s individual needs.
Generally, the report includes the exact start and end date, description of the
sample and sample designing, response rate, number of invitations sent and
number of completed surveys.
a general description of the sample,
quota conditions (demography),
conditions of qualification for participants,
the estimated length of the interview,
the required number of completes,
desired fieldwork time.
18. Who is responsible for data quality checks? If it is you, do you
have in place procedures to reduce or eliminate undesired within
survey behaviours, such as (a) random responding, (b) Illogical or
inconsistent responding, (c) overuse of item non-response (e.g.
“Don’t Know”) or (d) speeding (too rapid survey completion)? Please
describe these procedures.
We use a number of techniques to detect fraudulent respondents. We check the
demographic data obtained in other surveys for consistency and accuracy. We
check the time of completion and frequency of choosing the response options
"Don’t know” or "No Answer". If surveys are completed far too quickly or DK/NA
are used too often, we closely watch the respondents and monitor their
following activity. Any suspected fraudulent respondents are removed from the
20. How often can the same individual take part in a survey within a
specified period? How does this vary across your sample sources?
How do you manage this within categories and/or time periods?
Our panelists are invited to participate in a survey not earlier than a week from
the last completed questionnaire. We set limits on survey topics and do not
invite the same respondents to similar projects within a minimum 3-month
period. Moreover, on client’s request, we do not engage panelists who
participated in any of the client’s projects before.
19. How often can the same individual be contacted to take part in a
survey within a specified period whether they respond to the contact
or not? How does this vary across your sample sources?
We keep a record of participation history for each panel member. We do not set
limits on how often our respondents receive invitations to our surveys. All active
participants of our panel may receive the invitation. The exceptions are cases in
which the respondent has taken part in a survey on specific topic – for
explanation read point 20.
DATA QUALITY AND VALIDATION
21. Do you maintain individual level data such as recent participation
history, date of entry, source, etc., on your survey respondents? Are
you able to supply your client with a project analysis of such
individual level data?
Yes, we do record the individual-level data on our respondents, such as
participation history, date of joining the panel, etc., but we do not deliver this
information to our clients because of confidentiality and protection of such data.
22. Do you have a confirmation of respondent identity procedure? Do
you have procedures to detect fraudulent respondents? Please
describe these procedures as they are implemented at sample source
registration and/or at the point of entry to a survey or router. If you
offer B2B samples what are the procedures there, if any?
Data for all panel members are checked in a two-step registration process
(double-opt in). During this process, the new member’s e-mail address is
verified. We also verify the panelist’s postal address and their bank account at
the time of incentive redemption.
We regularly check the consistency of the data provided by our panelists. In the
event of incoherence, the respondent shall be informed and asked for
clarification. If this type of behavior repeats, the respondent is removed from
the panel members database.
Joining the online panel is a two-step process. Candidates register on the
website by filling out a short form stating, among others, their name and e-mail
address. This address is being used for sending the request for confirmation of
identity as well as the first survey asking for demographic data, like education
level, working status, possessions, use of services and other profile questions.
Policy provided to your respondents?
with the International Code of Conduct of ICC / ESOMAR (www.esomar.org) and
the applicable international and local law. The panel member’s personal data
are processed in accordance with the Polish Data Protection Law dated 29
August 1997 (unified text: Dz.U. of 2002 No. 101, item 926) and with the General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
POLICIES AND COMPLIANCE
23. Please describe the ‘opt-in for market research’ processes for all
your online sample sources.
25. Please describe the measures you take to ensure data protection
and data security.
We use up-to-date, stable and secure server units able to store and process
huge amount of data from thousands of respondents. They are securely
protected from unauthorized access by means of specialized IT software and
hardware. All equipment is located in a highly modern data center in Poland,
with 24/7 monitoring and control. Access to the online application is secured
with SSL protocol.
The database is separated from a direct Internet traffic in three levels. Every
access to the data management application requires authorization. Only a few
employees within the company have access to respondent database and every
login attempt is recorded.
IMAS holds a Polish PKJPA certificate of quality in CAWI research awarded by the
Organization of Opinion and Market Research Business OFBOR, which in some
areas is close to the ISO26362 certification. IMAS also has implemented internal
quality management procedures. We adhere to the ESOMAR guidelines for
28. Do you conduct online surveys with children and young people? If
so, do you adhere to the standards that ESOMAR provides? What
other rules or standards, for example COPPA in the United States, do
you comply with?
IMAS does not conduct online surveys with children or young people below 13.
27. Are you certified to any specific quality system? If so, which
26. What practices do you follow to decide whether online research
should be used to present commercially sensitive client data or
materials to survey respondents?
All our clients are informed about the risks associated with the research on new
concepts and products in the early stages of design. We believe that it is not
possible to fully secure content from being copied and published. Usually in
such cases we suggest other methods of research, eg CAPI.
PANEL AT A GLANCE
A S O F J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 9
AVERAGE RESPONSE RATE
*active members - number of panelists who have participated in, at least, one survey in the last year (definition accordingly to ISO 26362 norm)
IMAS Panel was founded in late 2005 by Polish branch
of market reseach agency IMAS International. IMAS
Panel operates only in Poland.
For over 14 years, IMAS International has provided
market research agencies with a high quality sample.
These our partners from the market research industry:
phone: +48 71 771 08 00
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
IMAS International Sp. z o.o.
Institute for Market and Social Opinion Research
PL 50-541 Wrocław, al. Armii Krajowej 61